My First Trip to Fiji
I am back from my first trip to Fiji – mostly a fact finding mission to gain an understanding of what MMM has done in the past and what we can accomplish in the future.
I must admit that I had some preconceived ideas of what Fiji might be like. Isn’t it just another exotic island in the Pacific like Hawaii? Wow, was I wrong. Yes, Fiji is a beautiful island in the Pacific and there are wonderful resorts, or so I am told. I never got to see them.
I knew that MMM had been involved in building churches in the Fijian villages but I had no idea that they would be as remote as they are. The day that I arrived I was quickly introduced to the Fijian back roads, if you can call them roads by Canadian standards.
The country is beautiful and the landscape is thick and lush. I told my guide, Pastor Bill, that I thought that if you planted a rock here it would grow. Most of the villages were in remote jungle locations far from the comforts of the city and the convenience of getting groceries at the local store.
Life in the villages is simple but not easy. The day’s sustenance is carved out of the jungle – fruit and vegetable from small garden plots, or fish from the local river or the ocean if it is nearby.
Housing was mostly small shack like homes made from corrugated tin and power was not always available. Some of the homes were still decimated from Cyclone Winston that ploughed through the area early in 2016 leaving a wake of destruction. In some instanced families were still living in the tents supplied as temporary shelter and the building materials for the new structure sitting waiting for someone with the skill to rebuild to help.
I had seen this before on mission trips to third world areas and as a typical westerner I wondered how they could live this way. But I was again reminded that people that live this way find value in things that really matter, like family, friends and sharing of what little they have. They had a happiness and contentment that is not always seen here in the west.
The churches built by MMM and the many friends that support this ministry were modest but effective. But most of all they were appreciated. The reception that I was given as a representative of MMM made me feel a little overwhelmed. I had come there to see how we could serve them in the future as our brothers and sisters but instead I was the one being served.
So what were my observations as a representative of MMM? What I saw and experienced was that what we have done in the past has had a tremendous impact for the Kingdom. The churches have continued to grow with some having to add extensions to the existing building. Villagers are continuing to come to Christ and for some, give up on their practises of witchcraft.
I also found needs far beyond helping with the construction of a church. I found pastors that are desperate for further training so that they can effectively teach their congregants. Pastors and their wives and children that are living in difficult situations with poor accommodation, very little financial means and not enough time to spend in the community as they travel from village to village on foot as well as try to provide the basic needs for the family. I saw many young beautiful Fijian children that represent the future of these churches but the churches had little to no material with which to teach them. The bottom line is that I saw so many more ways to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ than what we have already done.
Now that I am back it is my hope that MMM can present to you some new areas in which we can serve the Fijian people and in turn serve our Lord through them.
In Matthew 25 Jesus tells us (in my words) “When you have served the least of these my brothers / sisters you have serve me”
I want to thank each of you that have partnered with us in the past for your contributions to an amazing work in Fiji. There is still much to do. Please pray for the work there that it would be fruitful and that God would lead us to do His will in Fiji.
May you be blessed.
President – Multi Media Ministries Inc.
Year End Message
Dear Faithful friends of Multi Media Ministries.
2016 has been a great year for us here at Multi Media Ministries. Our work in both Fiji and Romania has continued to flourish thanks to your generosity, with three new churches built in Fiji and our humanitarian work has continued in Romania. It has also been a year of change.
As a short introduction my name is Rob McGowan. Some of you may remember me as the son of John and Mary McGowan (now Mary Hunter). I am also the nephew of David and Phyllis on the Rathjen side of the family. I have been married to my wife Debbie for the past 32 years and have 3 children: Chelsea (27), Robby (24) married to Joelle, and Brody (19). Deb and I have been active in our local church, Northview Community Church, where we have served as care group leaders, marriage mentors for pre-marrieds, and I have also served on the board of elders. I am so looking forward to serving our Lord alongside our M.M.M. friends to be His hands and feet in both Fiji and Romania.
While relaxing on a beach this past summer I was asked by M.M.M. board member, Glenn Embree, if I would be interested in serving on the board. Little did I know at the time that my role would be more than I originally thought. As you may have seen in our last newsletter that was recently sent out, David has asked me to be his right hand man to continue this great ministry as he and Phyllis find it a little more difficult to keep up the pace. God’s timing was just right as I have been blessed to take an early retirement. I had wanted to be involved in some type of ministry and here was an open door. I have always found that God is looking for the willing – and I was.
This coming year looks to be a busy year in Fiji with so many churches to be built and with so many more destroyed by Cyclone Winston earlier this year. As well, we are looking to finish the medical clinic that has been started in Romania so that we can begin to offer the medical services that are so desperately needed there.
We are hoping and praying that you will consider partnering with us as we approach the end of year and as we near the end of the period to receive tax receipts for gifts given in 2016.
May we give from the abundance of that which we have been given at this time when we celebrate the greatest gift.
May God bless you all this Christmas season and in the coming New Year and many thanks for your prayers and support in 2016